24.09.2012 - 29.09.2012
Monday 24th September we thought we would walk into town to check it out during the day. It was very busy, but everyone is still very friendly, a local man was chatting to us about the cricket. While we were there we had to pick up some more shampoo & face wash.
Mark was feeling quite drained, we think due to Mossy bites (he got quite a few in one go, the night before when we were having dinner. Although we both have been feeling quite coldy, which I have recently read can be a symptom when your body is adjusting to the food. We had dinner at our favourite, Garden Café.
Tuesday 25th- We walked round into the mountains, for a good couple of hours and accidently found a new way to town. Got quite a few more photos. As I mentioned before Sri Lankan's seem to love to have their photo taken. We had giggly school kids posing for us and even the prisoners from within the jail were waving up at us! everyone loves a photo. At one point we had stopped to get some pics of monkeys, I got pretty close to them, but one of them chased Mark haha. There was a big football stadium (mark wanted to go play), it had the gorgeous background of the mountains behind it.
On the way back we walked on the opposite side of the lake for change, the temple looked a lot quieter during the day when it is not service time. Once back we got our bags packed up ready to leave at 9am and made our last visit to the Garden café.
Mark got talking to an older couple from Adelaide, Australia. They have an adopted daughter & son here in Sri Lanka. The daughter now has her own kids, they were in our guesthouse for dinner one night. The couple also told Mark that they had got talking to a German couple who hadn’t heard of Australia!! Shocking, but funny!
Wed 26th- Today we were picked up by our personal driver to travel to Nurawa Eliya, Sri lanka's highest town. Enroute we stopped off at a Tea Plantation and saw how Kim’s beloved TEA! Is made. Also Green tea and silver tip tea (sun dried) This is also to the tea that I had when me, mummy and nanny went to afternoon tea in london, it is expensive as it has to be separated from each bunch of leaves by hand as it is processed completely differently. They have 300acres of land that are picked by hand. The leaf pickers have the bag hanging down their backs off their heads. Parts of the process are done by hand, others by machines. We had a free cup of green tea each and wanted to buy a box to take with us but they only had really big boxes that wouldn’t fit in our back packs
Our driver also stopped at different viewpoints and waterfalls of varying sizes which were gradually reducing in size until he pointed out a dribble lol.
When we arrived in Nurawa Eliya it is way way up in the mountains. The summit has been taken over by the government for air traffic control. It is like colonial Britain here. It’s very strange to see houses that look like they’ve been plucked out of the British countryside & plonked in Sri Lanka. My dad would approve of the very British style gardens, with roses as well as many other very colourful flowers and hedges pruned & trimmed into various shapes & sizes and perfectly mown lawns. I even saw hanging baskets! IN SRI LANKA! There are horses instead of cows around and they even have a horse racing track that looks very British.
The temperature is more like England on a hot spring/summer day. As we were walking we wondered why there were loads of jumpers, thick woolly knee high socks and woolly hats for sale everywhere, were they mad?! We soon found out when it started to get dark and the temperature dropped. Me and Mark both went to bed with our fleeces on.
The next morning Thursday 27th, we had brekkie, got ourselves ready & met our driver out front ready for the long drive to Dambulla and then onto Sigriya where we were staying for the next couple of nights. Enroute we stopped at the spice & herbal gardens which were very interesting. We got shown all the different plants that ginger, cinnamon, pepper, vanilla, cocoa, curry powder, caramel, nutmeg, red banana (you cannot eat it as it is too acidic), curry bay leaves etc come from. They have various natural products that they make from the spices including hair removal cream which mark tested on a bit of his arm. It worked, he has a smooth patch.
You then get to meet one of the ‘spice doctors’ who grabbed hold of my wrist felt my pulse and proceeded to tell me that in general I eat healthy but my body holds onto the toxins in my intestine so I have a build up like a fungus that I need to flush out!! He also noticed the tiny bit of eczema on my arms and told me I need to drink lots more water and avoid vinegary foods. He then scared the hell out of me & Mark by asking “when you have child?” to which me & Mark went silent, thinking he was telling us that he could tell I was pregnant! Haha Thankfully he was just asking when we were planning to have a baby. We said in the future sometime, to which he then told me I had to “clean da dirtys from your vhoomb before you conceive child” (haha) so that I have a healthy baby. After this he told Mark I was a gift from God to him and that I would bring wealth and good fortune to our family after I had my first child, he said the reason for this is because (apparently) I have a big forehead! Haha!
So from this experience I have learnt that;
1. I have a fungus in my intestine.
2. I have dirtys in my ‘vhoomb’
3. I have bad skin on my arms
and 4. A big forehead.
Of course after this there were many products you could by to ‘body balance’ your insides to detox them and stuff for my skin but I have taken what he said with a pinch of salt and will worry about detox another time I do believe in herbal products & I do believe that they work but I also know that they are expensive and that I can’t afford them right now!
Before we left we were given a free lunch of curry & rice (very spicey) which was very nice, followed by fruit. I attempted to eat the pineapple but I couldn’t and discretely spat it out into a tissue. I am just not a fan of fruit! The locals are all very puzzled as to why someone would not like fruit, ‘not even banana?’ they asked. Nope I’m fussy!
I will quickly add that I did drink from a King Coconut, which I really liked!! But then when they chopped it open so I could eat the inside, it tasted nice but I just couldn’t deal with the slimy texture!
We then continued our drive with a quick toilet break, where I came face to face with my first hole in the floor!! :o Luckily I have good balance.
Our next stop was Dambulla where we visited The Rock Temple (Buddhist). Oh my, there was a hell of a lot of steps to get up the mountainside to where the temple is built into the rocks. The heat made it even more of a task. Once up there it was very interesting to see the caves with the walls all decorated with drawings/paintings and the many Buddha statues that lined them. It was a very peaceful place. Again we had to leave our shoes outside, but this time we had to pay to get them back.
Our final stop of the day was our accommodation for the next two nights in Sigriya. It is in the middle of nowhere and our driver informed us that sometimes wild elephants come nearby, though he did say there was no water at the moment due to the lack of rain.
We had our dinner and decided what to do the next day. We were planning to go to Polonnaruwa to see the ancient city ruins but our driver found out how much the tickets were and we didn’t think it would be worth the money they were charging and we decided we would rather go on a safari to see wild elephants as we would find this more interesting. Our driver thinks it is sad because the prices just keep rising and rising and it is stopping people from visiting the places.
Fri 28th September. Today we went on the Safari to see the elephants in the wild. We got picked up by the jeep from our hotel. Luckily it was just us two so we had it to ourselves. When we got there, at first we saw a very small family of elephants, just four of them together. We sat and watched them for a little while and took photos of them. Our guide then said we would move on as there was a bigger herd further on.
He was right, there was a massive herd altogether, with all different ages. It was so lovely to see them happily breaking up the grass with their feet and then using their trunks to pick up the loose grass to place it into their mouths. Others were covering themselves in mud and the younger elephants were exploring.
There were two very young elephants, one about 2 and half months old and another smaller at approximately only one month old. The mum with the one month old was very protective of her baby (rightly so) and when the herd was moving, they came closer to where all the jeeps were parked up. She obviously felt threatened by all the vehicles as she charged at us. She came pretty damn close to our jeep, and she was surprisingly fast when she wanted to be. She was also very loud! The guide said the females with the babies are very dangerous. I can see why he said that! It made me feel happy to see her protecting her young.
I snapped so many pics of them, I can’t wait to look at them properly when we get back home. Unfortunately because my photos from from my DSLR are in RAW I cannot open them as I don’t have my software with me
After we got back we had dinner then had a drink with our driver. He is a very nice man, he joked with us & told us how to say things in Sri Lankan. It is a very difficult language. He offered to take us directly to our hotel in Negombo tomorrow if we didn’t mind leaving at 8am. It would be a lot easier and nicer than getting the train from Kandy to Colombo then having to get the bus to Negombo, so we said yes straight away!
That leads us to today Saturday 29th September. We were up, fed and on the road by 7:50am. The drive is around 3 and half hours. Me and Mark fell asleep for a bit then played games on our phones to make the time pass quickly.
We arrived in Negombo just after 11am, our driver had made good time. This is where we said our goodbyes and he went back to Colombo. We checked into our last hotel in Sri Lanka. We went for a walk down to the beach. Again we didn't feel like we could sunbathe or go in the sea, so we just decided to get some lunch instead. The last think we wanted to do on our last day is offend people by me showing to much skin in a bikini!
When we got back to the hotel, we had booked into the dorm room as we have to leave at 4.30am anyway to get to the airport. We were sat in the lounge area where we can get wifi and I needed to fetch something from our room. I went to the dorm room and it was very hot inside so I decided maybe I would open the window. Well..... I turned the handle and it must have already been broken because it just fell out of the frame and smashed onto the floor! Petrified that we would be charged, when Mark and the lady came running to check what the noise was, I told a little white lie and said that I had closed the door strongly and it had fallen out! LOL she believed me and I told Mark the truth when she had gone to sort it out. He laughed and said that it shouldn't just fall out when you open it anyway, so it must have been broken already.
It worked in our favour as we then got moved to a private room with better fans so it was cooler. Oopsie!
Mark is now watching the Arsenal-Chelsea match and I am updating you. The next time I write we shall be in Thailand!